I is a sad panda.
I was supposed to go with Karen tonight to see West Side story in theaters. While at Harold and Kumar, there was a trailer for a special 50 year anniversary showing of West Side Story in theaters. It was one night only and I've always loved the film and musical. I had actually mentioned to Karen during Newsies that the production reminded me a lot of West Side Story which it turns out she had never seen before. It seemed like a good opportunity to correct that.
I still remember one Christmas when I was a kid and for some reason or another, I was being pouty and emo. The entire family was going over to my grandmother's but I refused and ended up staying home by myself on Christmas Eve. I spent the night sitting in the dark watching tv, channel flipping until I found a special showing of West Side Story on TNT. It was the sing-a-long version with the lyrics and follow the bouncing ball. So I basically spent the next few hours singing along with West Side Story at the top of my lungs in an empty house. I look back sort of fondly now and it's what I think about first whenever I see the film or hear any of the songs.
So, earlier this morning Karen sent me the link to buy tickets online. She had already purchased hers and I meant to get around to buying mine. It ended up slipping my mind and by the time I remembered, I thought it wasn't worth the bother of buying the ticket online since i would have to hook up the printer to print it. Ever since all the packing and unpacking, the printer is still not set up correctly not to mention it's been fickle as hell about properly working lately. I resolved to just get to the theater a bit early and pick up a ticket at the box office. After all, I thought to myself, it's not like there will be many people there. It's a 50 year old movie featuring guys prancing around and singing. Chances are good it'll be almost an empty theater.
I made my way up to Cranford and after getting turned around, found the theater. I had a sinking feeling in my stomach the minute I saw it. I had assumed that it would be a AMC or Regal or some similar megaplex with 18 screens and a parking lot as far as the eye could see. Instead what I found was a small hole in the wall theater right in the middle of their downtown and worse, there was a huge line of people stretching out the door. I consoled myself with the idea that there must be something else special that all the people were there for. Maybe some new Keanu Reeves or Christian Bale movie was premiering. I ended up spending forever finding a place to park and hotfooted it over to the theater only to see the guy at the box office put up a sign just as I got there 'West Side Story Sold Out'. Fuck!
Gah! Why didn't I just purchase the ticket online? Why? Why? She even sent me the link! As I was standing around lamenting the loss, at least I wasn't alone. There were a surprising amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth as at least a dozen other people in line were also shut out. I grinned a bit when I overheard three teenage girls on their cell phones all complaining to friends that they hadn't been able to get tickets. Their friends must've been watching it at another theater because they were entreating them to tell them later if it was good. They then proceeded to try to convince the box office monkey to let them sit on the floor of the theater and see the film anyway.
As I stood there, this scene was repeated over and over as disappointed people tried to weasel their way in, asking if they could stand at the back or if they could have the ticket of anyone who didn't pick theirs up. You would have thought it was a Justin Beiber concert at a Jr High School. I never thought that West Side Story could be this popular, even if it was a one night event at a small theater. And so, consumed with the sads, I rang Karen to discover she was already in the area and circling around for parking. After she got to the theater I broke the news to her about the cosmic comeuppance. At least she had gotten her ticket and was able to see the movie. I trudged on home stopping for a McChicken sandwich to soothe my suffering.
I hate it when it feels like the universe is trying to teach you a lesson.